Mt. Holz Science Fiction Society

03/20/20 -- Vol. 38, No. 38, Whole Number 2111

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Co-Editor: Evelyn Leeper, * *

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      Mini-Reviews (Part 6) (MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS, HARRIET,

            QUEEN AND SLIM) (film reviews by Mark R. Leeper)

      Warp Core Cafe Science Fiction Picture Game (sent

            by Gregory Frederick)

      Dogs and Cats (letter of comment by Dorothy J. Heydt)

      This Week's Reading (book sales) (book comments

            by Evelyn C. Leeper)


TOPIC: Mini-Reviews, Part 6 (film reviews by Mark R. Leeper)

And still more mini-reviews:

MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS: This is the somewhat fictionalized telling of

the political chess game between the forces of Mary Stuart against

those of Queen Elizabeth of England.  Production Designer James

Menifold has given us an authentic feel of the period.  The film is

one of cold stony people on a cold, stony landscape.  There is some

explicit sexual content that somehow feels a little dislocated.

Americans and even some Brits are recommended to be prepared for a

deluge of names and faces to keep straight. There are many groomed

the same and many dressed the same.  Rating: high +1 (-4 to +4) or


HARRIET: [Points of history are from the point of view presented in

the film.]  In the new biopic HARRIET, Tubman goes from being an

uneducated slave girl to being a fighter and strategist, an action

hero, a warrior, and a rhetorician.  In a matter of only a few

months she escapes from the plantation where she is, walks over a

hundred miles of slave territory, and organizes a raid on her old

plantation to free some of her family left behind in her first

escape.  Her raids eventually liberated in all hundreds of slaves.

Her knowledge of the safest routes saved hundreds of lives.  One of

the more interesting aspects of the film is how church music and

sermons in some cases encouraged the slaves to cooperate with their

so-called masters and some sermons encouraged reaching for freedom.

Rating: high +2 (-4 to +4) or 8/10

QUEEN AND SLIM: This is a Bonnie-and-Clyde story told in a modern

setting.  Queen and her boy friend Slim do nothing illegal but a

confrontation with a Kentucky traffic cop leaves two policemen

dead.  They have a sort of road odyssey seeing how blacks live.

They are trying to get to Cuba.  And they work on their problems,

personal and family, and when one starts planning, the other seems

not to cooperate.  Rating: +1 (-4 to +4) or 6/10



TOPIC: Warp Core Cafe Science Fiction Picture Game (sent by Gregory


A friend sent this picture and asked me if I could identify most or

all of the science-fiction characters in it.  He said I might be

bored now that I am retired and stuck at home due to this virus.

You may find it interesting:




TOPIC: Dogs and Cats (letter of comment by Dorothy J. Heydt)

In response to the quotation at the end of the 03/13/20 issue of

the MT VOID, Dorothy J. Heydt writes:

"You may have a dog that won't sit up, roll over or even cook

breakfast, not because she's too stupid to learn how but because

she's too smart to bother.  [-Rick Horowitz]"

You have just described a cat.  [-djh]


TOPIC: This Week's Reading (book comments by Evelyn C. Leeper)

Normally this week I would have been reporting on the Bryn Mawr

book sale in Princeton, but due to the current situation, their

planned five-day sale was truncated to a day and a half.  The

Princeton Day School was shutting down and asked/told the sale

organizers that they must close by 3PM Friday.  This meant only the

preview day on Thursday, and a little more than a half day on

Friday.  (Ironically, it probably also meant that Friday would be

more crowded than usual.)  So this clinched it for us, and we

decided not to go this year.  I suspect the East Brunswick Library

book sale at the end of March will also be cancelled.  (It's held

in a mall, which would make it worse.)  I'm hoping things normalize

by the time of the Old Bridge Library sale in June, especially

since they did not have one last year because of the remodeling of

the library.

And of course, between when I wrote that (03/12/20) and when this

issue appears, a whole lot has changed.  Clearly the East Brunswick

sale won't happen, but here in NJ, all the restaurants, libraries,

and theaters are closed as well (among other businesses).  However,

delivery services such as USPS, UPS, and FedEx are still running,

so I decided to treat myself to an order of books on-line to replace

the sales.  (It certainly makes more sense than ordering a year's

supply of toilet paper.)

Late(r)-breaking news: Many brick-and-mortar bookstores are closing

at least temporarily.  Those affecting the area where we are (NJ)

include Second Time Books in Mount Laurel and the Strand Bookstore

in New York.

One thought that has nothing to do with books: when someone

suggested helping out elderly neighbors by shopping for them, I

started to think of who I might help out--and then realize that *I*

am the elderly neighbor.  :-(  [-ecl]


                     Mark Leeper

* *

          My dog is usually pleased with what I do, because she is

          not infected with the concept of what I "should" be


                                          --Lonzo Idolswine